Feb 7, 2013 7:00am PST
to most americans has really grown exponentially. ten years ago the pentagon had 50 drones. today it's 7,500. a third of the air force's fleet unmanned. u.s. military carried out 447 drone attacks in afghanistan in the first 11 months in 2012. 294 total in all of 2011. what's behind this drone explosion, if you will? >> well, i think that drones are sort of irresistible for a policymaker, for a president who is worried about protecting the country but also, you know, a president who in many ways was formed politically by the experiences in iraq and afghanistan, at least as far as his foreign policy views, who doesn't want to see dangerous, costly, bloody military entanglements in far away nations. drones are surgical. they're cheap. you can have a pretty high degree of accuracy. it is true that there have been numerous civilian casualties, but relative to any other technology we have short of sending in, you know, an assassin with a sniper rifle which in many cases just isn't practical, drones are the best way to sort of take the enemy off the battlefield. they don't cost a lot of money.